If you are asking this question you already know something about the rules of spoken English. Good for YOU!! ☆
Let’s talk for a moment about this VERY COMMON sound.
Spoken British & American English have a little vowel sound that most people have never heard of.
This little sound is called the schwa sound.
The Schwa Symbol
The schwa SYMBOL looks like this /ə/. You’ll see this symbol when you look up a word in the dictionary.
The schwa symbol is used to represent vowels that have a reduced sound.
The Schwa Sound
The schwa SOUND is a relaxed “uh”. We call schwa a reduced vowel sound.
You can listen to the schwa sound at this excellent website from the BBC.
Why Do I Need to Know About the Schwa Sound?
Why do I need to know about the schwa sound. Especially since no one ever talks about it?
This is why~
When native English speakers talk, they stress some vowel sounds and reduce others.
This STRESSreduceSTRESSreduce pattern helps create the rhythm of English words & sentences. ♬
Avoid Choppy Speech
If you DON’t use the schwa sound to help you reduce some vowels, your spoken English will sound choppy and over-pronounced.
This type of choppy, over-pronounced speech creates a “foreign accent” that can be troublesome for native speakers to understand!
I teach you how to use the schwa vowel sound in my iBook, American Accent Fundamentals. You can see that (and get a sample chapter) at the iBookstore.
Remember…the schwa vowel sound is the most common spoken sound in English.✔
You absolutely must use this sound if you want to speak American English more clearly.